Clear epoxy resin – from penny tables to casting jewelry
Everyone has seen those tabletops decorated with embedded pennies, or the collections of resinated insects quietly waiting for their revenge in their shiny clear epoxy prison. It seems like everyone has a clear epoxy resin project that they are planning. Whether it is a river or penny tabletop, resin jewelry, embedded objects and paperweights, or as a glossy varnish for an artwork, do not be put off by the apparent trickiness of epoxy resin crafts. Epoxy casting resin kits take the trouble out of the whole process, providing you with simple step-by-step instructions and advice for the experienced and newbies alike.
Below we take a look at some of the exciting things you can do with epoxy casting resin, and some of the tips and tricks to get your project right first time.
What to look for when you buy clear epoxy resin
Not all casting resins are created equal, and there are a number of things to look out for when you purchase. Try to choose a clear epoxy resin that is:
- Non-hazardous and non-toxic – Epoxies are available in varying grades of heavy duty-ness. For craft projects you should look for the resins that have no or low VOCs, low odor, and are certified non-toxic.
- UV stabilized and non-yellowing – Epoxies have a tendency to yellow or chalk in sunlight. Choose an epoxy with UV stabilizers to keep the clear glossy appearance.
- Fast curing – Nobody wants to wait days for their project to cure. Look for fast-curing products to speed up the process.
- Easy mixing ratio – Epoxies are two-component coatings. The resin requires a catalyst to begin the hardening or curing process. Some kits will have simple 1:1 resin to catalyst ratio which make the job far easier than if you have to work out a 17:4 mixing ratio.
- Shrinkproof – Some resins shrink as they dry. This can give a puckered appearance and ruin the smooth line of your coating or casting.
The best epoxy casting resin projects that anyone can do
Epoxy casting resin is so flexible and versatile it can be hard to know where to start. We have collected some of the top clear epoxy resin craft projects to inspire you with your own.
Epoxy tabletops – rivers, inclusions, and more
Updating a tired tabletop or countertop is a common project, and one seemingly ready made for epoxy. Epoxies can be used to give a worktop a smooth, glossy finish that is also scratchproof and incredibly hard wearing. You can include dyes in your epoxy if you want to add some extra drama.
Penny countertops have been all the rage over the past few years, and inclusions like this under an epoxy makes for a glossy and interesting surface. It doesn’t have to be pennies, you can use art, photographs, make some hard wearing decoupage, maps, the sky is the limit! For a more advanced option, river tables run epoxy through them to look like a river, but this is not a job for a first timer.
Epoxy casting – jewelry, paperweights, serving trays
One of the joys of epoxy resin casting is that if you can make the mold for it, you can make it. When it comes to resin jewelry, you can use dyes to make colorful bangles, pendants, bangles, brooches, rings, earrings or anything you can think of. For an added personal touch, you can include flowers, images, coins, buttons, beads, cogs, bugs, feathers… In the Victorian era, mourning jewelry included locks of hair. It’s up to you!
If jewelry is not your thing, look around you. Do you need a paperweight, coasters, is your serving tray coffee stained and in need of a do-over? You can do all of these with clear epoxy resin. Maybe your drawers have old or mismatched doorknobs and handles? You can resin cast some new ones with your own unique style. Christmas tree decorations, pendants and light catchers, resinated insects, trinket bowls, there is a reason that clear epoxy casting has taken crafting by storm.
Sealing artwork and photographs for longevity
Clear epoxy is perfect for using as a sealant for artworks or photographs. It provides a clear, glossy, smooth and level surface that will protect the underlying piece from all those elements that will damage them over time – moisture, sunlight, sticky fingers, the bumps and knocks of life.
Tips and tricks to make the most of your clear epoxy casting resin
Before we dive in to the products, here are some important things to remember when using clear epoxy resin.
- Always do a trial run – don’t just dive straight on in unless you are experienced enough with the product to understand exactly how to mix and apply it.
- Make sure that all your equipment is clean – dust and other contaminants will muddy your epoxy, damaging that clear shine.
- Mix thoroughly without whipping! Introducing air bubbles into the epoxy will make more work later when you have to make sure they are all removed from the final finish.
- Do not leave the epoxy in the mixing container while you go to make a coffee – it sets very quickly and you may come back to a solid unusable lump.